- The appearances of wealth is not wealth.
- You have to define what wealth is for you.
- Your definition should put into context the idea of local and global maxima
Remember that “desire is a contact you make with yourself not to be happy” ~ Naval Ravikant
Appearance Of Wealth Is Not Wealth
I recently posted one of my pictures on my WhatsApp status and a well meaning and much cherished contact replied “young millionaire.”
I smiled because I have once been given to such heuristic before.
I was on my way home from work and wanted to join another colleague’s vehicle for a ride home. On getting to the car park, I saw a junior colleague about to exit his own car. Immediately something within me concluded “that dude is richer.”
Maybe indeed he his, maybe indeed I’m a young millionaire. But the basis of those conclusions are faulted.
Because I have understanding, I quickly called my conclusion to question by telling it “you really don’t know if the car is his dad’s car or he took a rented car or even a loaned car.”
So why make such conclusion? I went further to say “maybe where he stays warrants that he gets a car for himself in order to survive.”
Well, a lot of considerations abound, but the mind is quickly predisposed to judging appearances of wealth as wealth.
Same was the case of my contact. A sharp and elegant dress taken under well lightened atmosphere with a polished palm slippers sent a message of “millionaire” to the mind.
Since this other example was my reality, let me tell you what that reality was.
- The haircut was done with N300
- The dress was gifted to me by my girlfriend
- The palm slippers cost less than a N10,000 and I didn’t pay for it at once (because I bought more than one when I made the purchase).
Does that make me a millionaire?
As I noted in this other thread, the problem with such misconception is that you start to consciously or unconsciously optimize for those appearances. And that my friend is the road to poverty. What then in wealth?
Define What Wealth Is For You
Anytime I think about wealth, for me, what comes to mind is Peace and Happiness.
If I don’t have food on my table, I can’t be at peace even if I choose to embrace happiness and can’t have happiness if I choose to embrace peace.
If I don’t have a good shelter or my parents are living in a bad condition, peace and happiness may be far from my dueling.
A lot of these things that I mention or that may come to your own mind are unattainable without money. Yes, money.
I like the words of @naval that said “once you have all the money, you will realize peace and happiness is what you want not the money”
However, the best way to realize that is to have that money first.
For me, as I journey towards more peace and happiness, I will say ultimately the goal is to get to a point where money is no longer an issue.
I have to food, clothing and shelter (remember their are levels to those things).
See this thread for the difference between peace and happiness
If I have these things peace and happiness will be closer than if I don’t.
Does that mean peace and happiness can’t be attained until then (whenever “then” is)?
Local And Global Maxima Of Wealth
If peace and happiness is what we reach for, it will be futile if not having some things means you can’t have either or both.
You see even though we reach out for the utmost, there is a need to choose at some maxima.
Peace and happiness can be chosen, Peace most of all since happiness is more fickle. And you have to choose both at every level.
Local maxima is the current state that you are. You will reach another as you seek to improve your condition and move towards a global maxima.
The thing is you can be wealthy at every maxima. You only need to choose to.
You see, choosing doesn’t mean you don’t have any other desire(s) or more needs, you just chose to be wealthy despite the lack of those things.
You can choose wealth at every maxima. Peace and happiness is a choice.
But you need to first settle within you that signals of wealth is not wealth.
You also need to define wealth for yourself.
If you do those two things above, you will realize that wealth is possible at every current state.